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UFC 261 Preview And Betting Tips - Usman v Masvidal 2

UFC 261 Preview And Betting Tips - Usman v Masvidal 2

Fans are back in attendance as UFC 261 takes place Saturday night in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s a stacked card with three title fights in including the highly anticipated rematch between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal for the welterweight title headlining the card. MMA Viking take a closer look at all of the action taking place this weekend with their betting tips for what should be an explosive night in the octagon.





UFC 261 Prelim Card

Women's strawweights open the action as Liang Na takes on Ariane Carnelossi. Despite a loss on her own UFC debut, this should be a victory for Carnelossi over the debuting Na.

Flyweights Qileng Aori and Jeff Molina collide in what should be an action-packed contest which can go either way in this pick em.

Rodrigo Vargas meets Zhu Rong in a lightweight contest. Rong is the red-hot prospect on a winning streak who is a major betting favorite against Vargas who is still winless in the UFC.

Bantamweights are also in action in the early prelims as Danaa Batgerel takes on Kevin Natividad. Fresh off his knockout win over Guido Cannetti last year, Batgerel should fancy his chances against Natividad.

Pat Sabatini collides with Tristan Connelly in featherweight action. Despite his upset win over Michel Pereira back in 2019, oddsmakers see Connelly losing to the debuting Sabatini.

Middleweights Karl Roberson and Brendan are both coming off losses, however, Allen is expected to return to the win column against Roberson.

Dwight Grant meets Stefan Sekulic in a welterweight tilt. Despite coming off a knockout defeat, Grant is expected to get the win over Sekulic who suffered defeat in his UFC debut last outing.

The featured prelim sees welterweight veteran Alex Oliveira take on the promising Randy Brown. Oliveira saw his two-fight winning streak snapped against Shavkat Rakhmnov in October. Brown suffered a knockout defeat in his last fight against Vicente Luque, he is a slight favorite over the Brazilian.


UFC 261 Main Card


Anthony Smith (34-16) vs. Jimmy Crute (12-1)

Anthony Smith will look to reenter title contention with a win over prospect Jimmy Crute. Smith recently snapped a two-fight losing streak with a much needed submission win over Devin Clark in November. 

However, that was an expected result for the former title challenger who will now face a tougher test in Crute. The Australian is on a two-fight winning streak and has won four of his first five UFC outings. All signs indicate he will continue his run against Smith.

Uriah Hall (17-9) vs. Chris Weidman (15-5)

A rematch over 10 years in the making takes place as Uriah Hall battles former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Hall is on a three-fight winning streak and has won four of his last five overall including a most recent TKO win over Anderson Silva. Weidman, meanwhile, snapped a two-fight losing streak to outpoint Omari Akhmedov.

While their first meeting was a TKO win for Weidman, things are expected to be a lot closer this time with the former 185-pound king starting to age quickly, but still the slightest of favorites against Hall.  I like Hall to find enough time to keep the fight standing and land enough strikes push the All American one step closer to retirement.

Valentina Shevchenko (20-3) vs. Jessica Andrade (21-8)

Valentina Shevchenko will look for another defense of her women’s flyweight title when she takes on former women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade. Shevchenko most recently outpointed Jennifer Maia over five rounds for her fourth successive title defense. She is yet to be tested in the flyweight division, but Andrade brings a unique explosiveness and power that could give the Bullet some trouble.

While somewhat small for the division as far as stature goes, Andrade showed that her strength carried through with a TKO win over Katlyn Chookagian in her 125-pound debut. That alone was impressive enough to get her the next title shot. That said, Andrade still remains a big betting underdog that could get bullied by the Bullet in this one.

Weili Zhang (21-1) vs. Rose Namajunas (10-4)

One of the most highly-anticipated matchups takes place in the co-main event as Weili Zhang will look to defend her women’s strawweight title for a second time against former champion Rose Namajunas. Zhang hasn’t competed since her five-round war with Joanna Jedrzejczyk last year that saw her just about retain her title in a most memorable split decision battle.

Namajunas, meanwhile, returned to the win column with a unanimous decision victory over Jessica Andrade last summer as she also got revenge in the process. Stylistically, this should be a great matchup no matter where the action goes, though, it will likely be on the feet for the majority of the fight.

But while Namajunas is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the sport, so is Zhang whose all-round abilities should give her the edge over Namajunas. Oddsmakers certainly believe so as well as the Chinese superstar is comfortable favorite heading into the matchup.  It might be worth a play on Thug Rose that also has the ability to end the fight with a submissions shall the opening appear.


Kamaru Usman (18-1) vs. Jorge Masvidal (35-14)

The main event sees Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal collide for the second time in less than a year when they compete for the welterweight title again. Their first meeting took place on six days’ notice at UFC 251 in July where Usman won an uneventful unanimous decision over Masvidal.

Masvidal has since claimed he could easily win on a full camp and will get to show just that, though he hasn’t competed since their first fight. Usman, meanwhile, competed in February when he outclassed former teammate Gilbert Burns on his way to an impressive third-round TKO win.

There’s always the chance of a Masvidal knockout, but Usman is just the superior martial artist who also has one of the best chins and conditioning in the sport. It comes as no surprise that the champion is a massive favorite.  I don’t see the extra preparation time for Masvidal resulting in a different result in the main event, but should be entertaining throughout.




V: 1.14.1 All rights reserved. August 2021